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court

Courtroom sketch from a trial in New York.

“The verdict? You’re a moron.”

— Judge Judy

Friends, you just never know what each day will bring. Monday I played a scratch-off ticket and won $5. Tuesday found me waking up late and having to rush through my morning routine in order to get to work on time, and Wednesday, oh Wednesday, I opened my mailbox and lo and behold found out that I have been selected to report for jury duty.

I don’t know what it says about the state of our judicial system that it has come down to rest upon my shoulders, but, to be honest, I have never felt so special in my life. Imagine a city as great as ours offering to give me the power to determine the outcome of a trial.

Perhaps I’ll have a stake in the next verdict of O.J. Simpson, or maybe it’ll be a crime syndicate being taken down — or better yet, a super-villain that’s finally being brought to justice. Who knows what will transpire once the gavel has been banged? Being the good citizen that I am I want to make sure I do the best job I can, so I’ve been watching reruns of "The People’s Court" and "Law & Order" for lessons on how I should behave and things to watch out for.

One of my findings is that I’ve heard that a jury can be swayed, but I wonder if one can also be swung. Can a jury be swaddled or perhaps even swooned? These are the probing questions I’m hoping to find answers to. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I can be bribed or bought, but if a lawyer were to enter the courtroom with a basket of baked goods, I might be more open to hearing the closing arguments.

The strange thing is that most people try to get out of jury duty, but I don’t see why that would be. You get to skip out on work just to listen to two people argue. Call me crazy, but I’ve been doing that for free at every family gathering I’ve ever been to.

The only thing I find a bit disconcerting is that a jury is supposed to be made up of one’s “peers,” so does that mean that I’m considered on the same level as the accused? If the defendant is a criminal mastermind then I might feel genuinely complimented, if not impressed, but what if it turns out to be an ax murderer? I guess my query is: at what point do I take the prosecution personally, because I really don’t like the idea that Lizzy Borden and I could be sharing the same Petri dish when it comes to pastimes.

As I’ve said, I don’t quite know what to expect, but I plan on taking matters seriously. Though how serious can it be when even the judge is so relaxed he can wear a robe to work?

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Auburn native Bradley Molloy’s column appears here each Sunday. He can be reached at lovonian@hotmail.com

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